After months of anticipation, A Star Is Born opened in cinemas nationwide over the weekend, which, if you’re one of the thousands who went to see it, you’ll know ended in tears, the soundtrack being played on repeat and an unhealthy obsession over whether Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga could ever be a real-life couple.
The film, which is Lady Gaga’s debut acting role and Cooper’s debut directorial role, has had rave reviews, with many certain it will clean up come awards season. Not only does Cooper star and direct the rom-com meets drama meets musical, but he also reveals he can both sing and play the guitar (which he only learnt to play for the film), simultaneously shooting to the top of our celebrity crush list.
A Star Is Born was first released in 1954, starring Judy Garland and James Mason, before being (badly) remade in 1976 with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. Recreating a Hollywood classic for your directorial debut is a brave move, but Cooper pulls it off spectacularly.
For those who haven’t seen the ’50s or ’70s versions, A Star Is Born is a romance of high tragedy, following the rise of a young singer/songwriter, Ally Campana, and, simultaneously, the fall of her famous musician boyfriend, Jackson Maine. When they meet, Jack is at the height of his career, headlining festivals and touring continuously, whereas Ally is a waitress who sings every few weeks at a Hollywood drag bar.
While searching for another drink on the way home from a show, Jack stumbles into the bar and after seeing Ally perform asks her to have a drink with him. The night ends with them singing in a carpark before he drops her home and heads to the airport ahead of another festival gig that evening.
In a prince charming move, Jack sends his driver to collect Ally and bring her to him – private jet and all – before coaxing her on stage to sing an original song in front of tens of thousands of people.
In real life, Cooper and Gaga’s stars aligned in almost the exact same way. He attended a celebration for the opening of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy in Los Angeles (granted, probably a lot less intoxicated) where he saw Lady Gaga perform Édith Piaf’s ‘La Vie en Rose’, the same song Ally sings in the late night bar.
Gaga and Cooper’s chemistry is part of what makes A Star Is Born the blockbuster it is. Cooper takes parts of Gaga and weaves her into the role of Ally: Gaga has been open about her struggles with feeling inadequate and insecure and even recently revealed she was told to get a nose job at the beginning of her career, a physical feature that in the film Ally says held her back from becoming a star.
And, of course, Cooper can relate to his character’s issues with addiction. The actor is 13 years sober, after heading to rehab for an addiction to alcohol and painkillers in his early years as an actor.
With Oscars buzz surrounding it, a soundtrack at the number one spot on the Billboard charts for the second week in a row, and a love story being compared to that of Titanic, if you haven’t yet seen A Star Is Born, what are you waiting for?